Meet the Speakers
Amy Cox is an award-winning (former) teacher, author, Mum-of-four and the founder of Playful families. Through her blog, podcast and monthly membership Amy empowers overwhelmed mums to look past all the “shoulds” of parenting and instead choose their own playful path. Amy helps mum’s to ditch perfection and embrace the joy and connection that exists within the messy, ordinary moments of family life.
Karen Lock Kolp
Karen Lock Kolp is an expert in child development and a parent coach. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Relations, her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and honed her expertise through years of experience working with children, and raising her two sons along with their dad..
She is the author of 3 parenting books and the founder of weturnedoutokay.com, where she empowers parents of young children in their parenting journey with lots of resources including her podcast, videos, books, a monthly subscription called the We Turned Out Okay Playbook, and an online private coaching community. She is also a speaker and runs in-person and virtual training and workshops, as well as private 1-to-1 parent coaching.
Meghan Fitzgerald is the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at tinkergarten. After 18 years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, Meghan has her dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including hers, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten, Meghan worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. She earned a BA with majors in English and Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained as a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. When she is with her kids, Meghan is that unapologetic mom who plays along with them in mud, dances in the pouring rain, and builds a darn good snow igloo with her bare hands.
Mandisa is a MBA/CPA turned stay-at-home mom and an early childhood education advocate. She started Happy Toddler Playtime as a way to share the creative activities and crafts she did at home with her kids. It has now become her passion and creative outlet. She wrote a book of sensory bins called Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids.
She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and three children.
Stephanie Zawalicz, Speech-Language Pathologist, MHSc.., CCC-SLP Reg. CASLPO. Stephanie is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at McMaster University before completing her Master of Health Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. For the past 10 years, Stephanie has provided early intervention to children with a variety of speech and language delays and disorders in Canada (Toronto) and the US (Austin and San Francisco). Stephanie is passionate about continuing education; her additional training includes the completion of many courses related to developing early speech and language skills in toddlers. Stephanie co-owns a private Speech-Language Pathology Practice north of Toronto, with her friend and business partner Jill. In order to support parents and young children outside of their geographic area, Jill and Stephanie also founded Speech Mamas where they provide online courses and resources related to communication development. Their current offerings include a comprehensive “Talk To Me Toddler Bootcamp”, for parents who want to learn strategies to support their young child’s overall communication development in daily routines and play.
Stephanie is registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA).
Jill McDermid, Speech-Language Pathologist, M.S.., CCC-SLP Reg. CASLPO. Jill obtained a Bachelor of Health Science degree (double major: Health Science and Linguistics) at the University of Western Ontario before completing the Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) program at Georgian College. After working as a CDA for several years, Jill moved to Chicago to obtain her Master of Science degree in Speech Language and Learning (concentration: Speech-Language Pathology) from Northwestern University. While in Chicago, Jill developed clinical skills providing SLP services to infants and preschool-aged children at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and school-aged children within the Evanston, Illinois school district.
Jill has experience evaluating and facilitating the development of a wide range of speech and language skills including speech sounds, receptive and expressive language, literacy, social communication, voice, fluency, cognitive communication, feeding/swallowing, and accent modification. Jill is the co-owner of a private speech therapy clinic outside of Toronto, Ontario and is the co-founder of Speech Mamas. Jill is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) and is registered with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO).
Casey Patch is a mom of 3, a trained kindergarten teacher, author of the book Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers and the founder of Littlelifelonglearners.com. Casey empowers parents in creating a beautiful bond and magical memories of childhood playtime through her blog, youtube videos, printables shop and online play membership- the little play club.
Sara McCarty is an attorney, mom of three, and the founder of Run Wild My Child. Run Wild My Child is an online resource dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and inspiring parents to get their kids off screens and outside into nature, one adventure at a time.
Run Wild My Child takes the guesswork out of being in the outdoors with kids by providing content filled with practical advice for parents, fun and easy outdoor activities for kids of all ages, as well as kid-friendly gear recommendations, family travel tips, and nature-inspired educational resources.
Wendi McKenna, the founder of Move Play Grow, transforms lives. As a mother, wife, pediatric doctor of physical therapy, and Intentional Parenting Coach, she approaches life from a foundation of unconditional love, wonder, and play. Wendi empowers parents to build strong foundations, one intentional connection point at a time. Moms who want to create a deeply connected family hire Wendi to help them lead with love, land their love, and nurture their children as they unfold into who they are. Wendi believes that being a parent is the most precious opportunity to grow into ourselves and share the gift of life. And she stands for all to be seen, understood, honored, and loved. She can’t wait to welcome you into her family.
Monique Bathis is a Registered Music Therapist with over 10 years experience working across the acute paediatric setting at one of Australia’s leading children’s hospitals, as well as in private practice, working with children with disabilities.
More recently, Monique has developed an online course for parents and caregivers called, “From Chaos To Harmony: 6 weeks to confidently support children’s emotions and navigate behaviours using music”, which launched in March 2020. Monique has also led the development of other home-based resources within the health sector and has a breadth of experience facilitating early childhood music groups as well as having assisted children in transitioning to & settling into the school environment through music therapy group-based work.Throughout her career, Monique has presented at numerous conferences and seminars, as well as been interviewed on social media platforms and a local radio station. Monique is passionate about working with parents of babies and young children to empower them to take an active role in their child’s development using music, while deepening their understanding on music’s impact on brain development, and build their caregiver toolbox so they can fully support their child’s emotions through the intentional use of music.
Alison is mother, Early Childhood Educator and together with her husband Dion they are the founders and owners of Little Toy Tribe. Little Toy Tribe is a toy store based in Brisbane which was born from Alison and Dion’s love for creating opportunities for their own children to discover and learn through play. Alison carefully curates only the best quality, open ended resources as well as providing inspiration and education for parents on play through their blog, youtube videos and instagram account.
My Motor Baby
Tiffani Santos is a pediatric occupational therapist, who currently works in the school system, with previous experience in outpatient and inpatient pediatrics. She makes fun activities for her students all the time and she loves to share her knowledge of skills and related activities with parents of little ones and our followers!
Renee Brierley obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She has enjoyed working with children for 15 years. Having many years in early education, her passion is encouraging little ones to learn and grow through purposeful play, but being a wife and mother is her most beloved role yet!
A master’s level clinician, Taylor completed her education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Charlotte, NC. She has over 3 years of experience working with children and families. She first received her degree in elementary education, and later became a Licensed Clinical and Mental Health Counselor Associate with the North Carolina Board of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors. She has completed training in play therapy and is actively working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist. Her services are offered at Zola Counseling in the South Charlotte area of North Carolina.
Taylor passionately supports children as young as age 2 who experience various types of adversity that overwhelm them. She embraces diversity throughout a supportive journey with clients, and maintains a caseload with families from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Her experience in the clinical field includes but is not limited to: Parent separation and divorce, death of a parent/family member, body image, abuse and crisis, self-esteem, behavior concerns within school, and developmental challenges.
Taylor places importance on parental involvement, and believes she is most effective when helping parents learn to become a therapeutic agent in their homes. She believes that parents are the experts, and encourages them to see that. Taylor helps children feel more resilient by helping parents or caregivers strengthen the relationships they have with children, and offers support through a multicultural Child-Centered, evidence-based approach. You may visit her Instagram (@KidsRCapable) for educational support on child development.
Michelle Tangeman is a mom of two living in Los Angeles, California, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc 85890) with advanced training in perinatal mental health and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Despite having the education and training to support her, Michelle says that she struggled to manage all that comes with becoming a new mom and all the big feelings and behaviors that come with raising a toddler.
She started @thriving.toddler two years after my daughter was born to provide education and resources to help parents navigate the toddler years. @thriving.toddler is a place you can come to find evidence-based resources on positive parenting. You can find information on positive behavior support, visual supports, self-regulation, potty training, and so much more. Michelle offer a video course on how to manage behaviors in the moment, with confidence, that is in line with your family values.
Jenna is a mom, photographer and the founder of athomewithkids.com and host of The Simple Home podcast. Through her online courses, membership and in person workshops Jenna teaches moms to live how to live differently: how to have simpler days, a simpler home and to cherish the moments of our lives.
Amy Webb, Ph.D. is a child development writer and mom of 2 young sons. She is the creator and owner of the blog, The Thoughtful Parent where she brings academic child development research into the lives of parents in the trenches of child-rearing. She does not claim to be a parenting guru, but rather a translator of academic research into knowledge that parents can actually use.
Kayla has been an entrepreneur for over 11 years and a stay at home mom to a 5 year old boy and three year old little girl. While running a home wellness business alongside her husband of eight years, she is also committed to creating a fun, inspiring, and positive learning environment for her children at home.
This has grown into a passion for helping busy moms create fun, educational activities for their children and also organize their lives and homes to promote balance, fun, and learning. Keep Toddlers Busy was created to be a resource for activities, tips, inspiration, and ideas to help make mom’s life just a little easier.
I’m Holly, a parenting mentor for modern-day parents, using step by step guides to bring Montessori & Conscious Parenting to the next generation. I’ve been featured in Motherly and Montessori Rocks where I share my love for Montessori.
Over the past 4 years, I’ve helped thousands of parents transform their homes by providing support and training to get started quickly and easily.
Ann is the founder of the inspiring website littleworldsbigadventures.com where she combines her love of creative projects and imaginative play to empower parents with ideas, knowledge and skills to be facilitators of childhood curiosity and wonder.
She has 3 children and loves how they never cease to amaze her. Ann is an Occupational Therapist and an Art Therapist. She currently works in a mental health facility where she encourages young people to discover and express themselves through art using a variety of materials.
Bree Milani has a Masters of Occupational Therapy and a Bachelors in Special Education and Rehabilitation. She is also the Founder of Sprout and Thrive and has spent the last several decades working with families in outpatient, aquatic, school, and home-based settings.
She specializes in early intervention and is passionate
about educating families on how to support their baby’s development with simple house-hold items and play ideas that fit into already busy days.
Bree is certified in neurodevelopmental treatment and is a movement analysis expert serving families with typical and special needs. Bree co-founded a non-profit organization, www.pushinternational.org focused on serving thousands of underprivileged families with special needs in Mexico and teaching hands-on curriculum to 40+ teams of therapy students.
Bree loves to travel the world. Being from the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys a good cup of coffee
and a bold glass of wine. She’s a wife, mother to a busy toddler, and has another baby on the way.
She has curated her years of knowledge and research-based experiences into parent friendly,
play-based activities, resources, and courses to help caregivers and infants thrive.